Golden Isles Horseshoe Club member Forrest Thomas won first place in Elders Class C this year, giving the club its 35th state championship since it was sanctioned by the National Horseshoe Pitching Association in 1995.
Playing in a round robin of 30 games against a class of six, Thomas went 4-1 and earned 135 points to come out on top and capture his first state championship in Perry on Oct. 6, 2018.
Thomas came away from the competition as the biggest winner, but he was far from the only GIHC member to have a good day.
Two-time state champion Mary Lewis claimed third in Ladies Class A, and four-time title winner and Georgia Horseshoe Pitching Association Hall of Famer Marshall Little finished fourth in Elders Championship Class.
Six-time champion Don Hutchens placed third in E Class, and four-time title holder Frank Harris finished fifth in Elders Class B.
The GHPA holds three state championships a year — the state doubles in May, the state league team in September, and state championship singles in October — each producing competitive fields and sizable crowds.
HISTORY MADE ON THE ISLAND
Ron Cloutier won his sixth Golden Isles Horseshoe Club league championship in 2018, tying a club record held by Mary Lewis.
Since 1993, there have been 11 different GHIC league champions and only four members have won the title in back to back years: Mary Lewis (1996-97; 2007-08), Don Hutchens (1998-99), Marshall Little (2011-12), and now Cloutier (2017-18).
Little (five), Frank Harris (four), Hutchens (three), Joy Johnson (three), and Ray Tawney (three) are among the members with multiple championship under their belts.
The 2018 GIHC League saw 14 members content for a title. The Top 10 results were Ron Cloutier 48-15, Joe Fry 41-25, Marshall Little 47-29, Don Hutchens 36-30, Frank Harris 29-37, Forrest Thomas 28-39, Mary Lewis 25-41, Brian Little 14-30, Denise Rowe 1-2 and Joey Fry 1-2.
Other award winners include: Marshall Little, Most Improved +25.66 percent; Marshall Little Hi-Avg. 50.49 percent; Ron Cloutier Hi-Game 67.50 percent; Frank Harris Hi-Over Avg. 25.38%
Fry, Thomas, and Hutchens received their 50 percent patch awards and Little and Harris received their patch for 60 percent. Fry was awarded the sportsmanship award, as well as his five-year players award and induction into the GIHC All-Star Club.